Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SEARCH, by GEORGE HERBERT



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THE SEARCH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whither, o, whither art thou fled
Last Line: Making two one.


WHITHER, O, whither art thou fled,
My Lord, my Love?
My searches are my daily bread;
Yet never prove.

My knees pierce th' earth, mine eies the skie;
And yet the sphere
And centre both to me denie
That thou art there.

Yet can I mark how herbs below
Grow green and gay;
As if to meet thee they did know,
While I decay.

Yet can I mark how starres above
Simper and shine,
As having keyes unto thy love,
While poor I pine.

I sent a sigh to seek thee out,
Deep drawn in pain,
Wing'd like an arrow; but my scout
Returns in vain.

I tun'd another (having store)
Into a grone,
Because the search was dumbe before;
But all was one.

Lord, dost thou some new fabrick mold,
Which favour winnes,
And keeps thee present, leaving th' old
Unto their sinnes!

Where is my God? What hidden place
Conceals thee still?
What covert dare eclipse thy face?
Is it thy will?

O let not that of any thing:
Let rather brasse,
Or steel, or mountains, be thy ring;
And I will passe.

Thy will such an intrenching is,
As passeth thought:
To it all strength, all subtilties,
Are things of nought.

Thy will such a strange distance is,
As that to it
East and West touch, the poles do kisse,
And parallels meet.

Since, then, my grief must be as large
As is thy space,
Thy distance from me; see my charge,
Lord, see my case.

O take these barres, these lengths away;
Turn, and restore me:
Be not Almightie, let me say,
Against, but for me.

When thou dost turn, and wilt be neare,
What edge so keen,
What point so piercing, can appeare
To come between?

For, as thy absence doth excell
All distance known,
So doth thy nearnesse bear the bell,
Making two one.





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